Do you consider yourself a contrarian investor? If so, we ran a screen on the technology industry that you may be interested in.
A reason contrarians may want to focus on tech is summed up by Hawkinvest: "With many [tech] stocks trading at elevated prices, the market leaders could be poised to also lift the fortunes of tech stocks that may have lagged in the past."
With this in mind we began by screening a universe of tech stocks that are highly shorted, with float shorts above 10%. This is very high and typically a warning sign for investors. But contrarians know that for under-appreciated and oversold stocks some positive news often results in a big boost, while more negative news causes less of a stir.
With turnaround opportunity in mind we then screened for bullish trends from short sellers. Specifically, a significant decreases in shares shorted month-over-month representing at least 2% of share float share float. This indicates that short sellers are less bearish on these names than they were a month ago.
Average analyst ratings seem mixed for these stocks. Click through for an interactive version of this chart and to compare other metrics over two years. Average ratings sourced from Zacks.
Short floats are still high for these tech stocks, but short sellers signal the bad times are almost over. What do you think?
1. Logitech International SA (LOGI): Designs, manufactures, and markets hardware and software products that enable digital navigation, music and video entertainment, gaming, social networking, audio, and video communication over the Internet, video security, and home-entertainment control.
- Market cap at $1.2B, most recent closing price at $6.91.
- Float short: 12.79%. Shares shorted have decreased from 24.07M to 20.88M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 2.18% of the company's float of 146.10M shares. Days to cover ratio at 42.18 days.
- The good and the bad: Traders have actively changed positions in Logitech after welcoming new CEO Bracken P. Darrell this January and entering into a transitional period for the firm. The organization is restructuring to align itself to new strategies focusing on mobility and PC-related products. LOGI has returned 0.73% since 3/11/13.
2. Bankrate, Inc. (RATE): Offers online financial data feed management services.
- Market cap at $1.17B, most recent closing price at $11.69.
- Float short: 12.91%. Shares shorted have decreased from 5.94M to 5.15M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.99% of the company's float of 39.71M shares. Days to cover ratio at 10.57 days.
- The good and the bad: Bankrate has steadily traded downwards from a 52 week high of $24.29 after a legal investigation and lowered guidance. However, recent upgrades and hedge fund interest are luring investors again. The stock has returned -1.85% since 3/11/13.
3. Ebix Inc. (EBIX): Provides on-demand software and e-commerce solutions to the insurance industry.
- Market cap at $619.29M, most recent closing price at $16.67.
- Float short: 33.15%. As an example, this is much higher than Cognizant Technology Solutions Corporation (short float at 1.01%, representing 1.56 days of trading volume) and Citrix Systems, Inc. (short float at 1.35%, representing 1.19 days of trading volume).
- Shares shorted have decreased from 12.48M to 11.58M over the last month, a decrease which represents about 2.72% of the company's float of 33.14M shares. Days to cover ratio at 19.9 days.
- The good and the bad: The stock was sold short after investigations at the firm for potential violations of federal security law. Hedge funds are now piling into EBIX and driving up the stock. The stock returned 7.62% since 3/11/13,
- More upside: Net institutional purchases in the current quarter at 1.8M shares, which represents about 5.43% of the company's float of 33.14M shares.
**Short activity data sourced from Yahoo! Finance, institutional data from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.